Skincare Sunday: Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial Mask

Can I just say how excited I am to be doing a weekly skincare feature on here?! I feel like these days, I’m more into skincare than makeup so I figured I should kick things off with the most life-changing product that I’ve ever discovered. Ever (not even kidding). Now with that being said, this mask may not be for everyone, but it’s changed my skin for the better since I started using it about a year ago.

So let’s start off with a little background info about my own skin… I have dry to combination skin, depending on the time of year, but my skin is somewhat sensitive and can be breakout prone. I’m also in my mid thirties, so getting fine lines under control before they decide to stick around is a major priority for me. I used to use pretty hardcore physical exfoliators to keep my pores clear and make sure my skin was nice and smooth, but after a while I noticed that things like my Clarisonic brush or gritty exfoliating scrubs were actually making my dry patches worse, causing a lot of redness and acne flare-ups, and adding to the lines I was developing. That’s when I discovered the magical world of topical exfoliators such as AHA’s and BHA’s and my skin really started to transform.

Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial mask uses alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids to basically resurface your skin by eating up all of the dead skin cells and gross stuff in your pores. It sounds harsh, I know, but it works beautifully without causing the minuscule surface tears and irritation that some methods of physical exfoliation can cause. This mask is one of the more potent AHA/BHA products out there, so you definitely want to try a patch test before applying it all over your face. It’s typically gentle enough for most skin types, although it does have a bit of a warm tingling sensation to it. I find that the more consistently I use it, the less it tingles, and it’s never been so tingly or warming that it caused any long-term redness or a reaction.

Now let’s get into why it has that tingling sensation and what AHA’s and BHA’s will do for your skin. This mask contains ingredients such as glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and salicylic acids, which are what eat up the dead skin cells, help to decongest your pores, and overall, improve the texture and brightness of your skin. These acids also help to minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles and well, they make your skin feel incredibly smooth once all of the nasty dead stuff is cleared away. T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial also contains chickpea flour, pumpkin ferment extract, matcha, milk thistle, and apple, which work together to defeat dullness and dark spots, gently exfoliate, and improve the skin’s elasticity.

I know all of that sounds pretty intense, but because this mask is formulated without any fragrance, essentials oils, silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, etc, and has what Drunk Elephant refers to as an “ideal” pH of 3.5, it’s not going to cause the type of negative reaction that you might get if you used an AHA/BHA mask that contained those ingredients that can potentially cause additional irritation. This mask has been deemed as one of the most popular “Clean at Sephora” products, which means it’s formulated without over 50 ingredients that aren’t necessarily great for your skin or the environment.

Because this mask is a bit on the potent side, you only want to use it every 7 to 10 days. I use it as part of my Sunday self care/skin care routine so I can start my week with a fresh face. I like to apply this mask after I’ve had a nice steamy shower and washed my face… Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel like that’s when my face is the cleanest. Of course you want to avoid the areas around your eyes and mouth, but you can apply this mask all over the rest of your face, to clean, dry skin, just like you would most other masks, or you can use it in more targeted areas. Personally, I like to use an old, flat foundation brush to apply this mask because it feels more relaxing and spa-like, but you can use your fingers too. According to the directions, you want to leave the mask on for 20 minutes, but if you’re just starting out, you may only want to do 10-15 minutes and work your way up if it seems a little too tingly at first. When your timer is up (set one… trust me, you don’t want to leave this product on too long), you simply rinse your face with warm water, although I usually use a damp, soft, microfiber type of face cloth to help remove it, but that may be too rough for some people when using an AHA/BHA product like this. I also like to use a very gentle cleanser afterwards to make sure I got all of the AHA/BHA cleared away, but that may actually be more irritating for some people too. After I’ve rinsed my face, I go ahead and do my normal nighttime skincare, skipping any products that contain actives like AHA’s and BHA’s so my skin has a chance to recover a bit overnight. Oh, and one last note… Make sure that you wear your sunscreen! That should be an every day thing anyway, but your skin may be more sun sensitive than usual after using a mask like this!

If you want to pick up this mask, you can get it directly from the Drunk Elephant website (they have afterpay btw), or from Sephora. It contains 1.69 oz / 50 ml of product and sells for $80. I know that price may seem a bit steep, but even when I use this weekly, I only have to repurchase it two or three times a year… A little bit goes a long way! Also, as I mentioned earlier, this is a clean beauty product, but it’s also vegan and Drunk Elephant is a cruelty-free brand.

This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this product with my own money and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review.

Vandal Cosmetics Rhude Matte Lip Kit

Well hello again! I figured it’s time to revive the blog, and what better way to do it with some new (to me, anyway) lip kits!

I always try to support smaller brands, especially those that are cruelty-free and vegan, so Vandal Cosmetics’ Matte Lip Kits seemed like great new products to try. I’ll slowly but surely be reviewing all of them, but I wanted to start off with Rhude. Lighter nude matte liquid lipsticks always seem to be the least forgiving, so I thought that this would be a great shade to start with and I’m definitely impressed!

If you guys want to keep up with what I’m testing and the looks I create, make sure to follow me on Instagram @ lesley_makeup, and subscribe to the blog so you get emails whenever I post a new review!

Photo taken in natural, indirect sunlight. Lip Kits swatched on MAC NC20 skin.

First off, the way this lip kit is packaged is so nice! Not only does it look lovely, but the products are also packaged in a way that protects them from being damaged during shipping. I do wish that the insert that holds the products in place was made of a more easily recyclable material like the box itself is, but that’s really my only complaint!

Vandal Cosmetics claims that their liquid lipstick formula is long-wearing, waterproof, and smudge-resistant, and I can happily attest that it lives up to their claims! The products themselves are very high quality, and I love that the lip liner is the twist-up, retractable kind. The colors of the Rhude liner and liquid lipstick work perfectly together, and they are both a light, warm, yellow based, peachy nude. The liner has a silky texture and glides on easily without tugging at the lip or having to go over it numerous times to get a defined, pigmented line. Rhude liquid lipstick is equally fantastic, too! It has a lightweight feel without being too thin and watery, or too thick and goopy. It applies very easily thanks to the small, doe-foot applicator similar to the ones seen with most liquid lipstick formulas, and because the formula doesn’t set too quickly, you have time to play around with it and blend it out if needed. Once it does set, it seems to stay very slightly tacky, but I feel like that probably has something to do with the fact that it didn’t dry out my lips at all, so the tackiness isn’t a dealbreaker for me. Rhude liquid lipstick is full coverage using very little product and it offers a very even type of coverage, which can be difficult to find in a lot of light, nude, matte liquid lipsticks. I only had this on for 6 hours, but it stayed in place until I removed it and only faded near the center of my lip when I ate dinner. Touching up was easy, though, and it didn’t pill up or look weird where I reapplied it.

While I’m pale enough that this looks flattering on me, I know that this type of nude may be a little light for some people. If that’s the case, you can always use a deeper liner with the liquid lipstick, or choose a darker nude tone lip kit, which Vandal Cosmetics definitely has! I’ll be reviewing the others in future posts, so keep an eye out for those!

The Rhude Matte Lip Kit from Vandal Cosmetics is available from www.vandalcosmetics.com and sells for $25. The retractable lip liner contains 0.3 g / 0.01 oz of product, while the matte liquid lipstick contains 5 g / 0.18 oz. These products are parben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.

  • Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5
  • Application: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Coverage: 5
  • Color Payoff: 5
  • Wear Time: 5
  • Packaging: 5

This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this product with my own money and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review.

Sanitary Makeup Application & Cleaning Makeup Products

Hand-Washing-Germs-1024x597

 

I want to take a moment to talk about how to apply makeup to a client in a safe, sanitary manner, and also how to clean and disinfect your products, whether they are part of your kit or your own personal makeup collection.

I realize that the spread of infectious diseases is a major cause of concern for many people right now, and I’ve received a great deal of messages about this subject. In no way do I, or have I ever, claimed to be an authority on sanitization, but I have shared with you all of the things I know from attending a world renowned, highly credited makeup school and working in the makeup industry for well over a decade. This guide was compiled from doing some of my own research as well as talking to other makeup artists, and even a few people who are in the medical field. I have done my best to provide you all with the most accurate information I possibly could.

 

First off, let’s go over different types of sanitizing and disinfecting solutions:

  • Antimicrobial or hygienic makeup and brush cleansers are usually (not always) a medical grade disinfectant or sanitizing solution that contains 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol and are effective at killing any kind of bacteria, virus, or fungi that may be a threat to your health. Many antimicrobial brush cleaners from makeup supply stores are these type of solutions, and this is something you’ll see at many stores and makeup counters (it’s like the pink spray that MAC used to have, and still uses in a new “hygienic cleanser” formula).
  • When you look at an isopropyl alcohol solution that is labeled as 70%, it will contain 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water. If it is labeled at 99%, it will contain 99% isopropyl alcohol and 1% water.
  • The lower the percentage of alcohol and higher the percentage of water, the longer the isopropyl alcohol solution will take to evaporate.
  • The longer the alcohol takes to evaporate, the more effective it is at breaking through the cell wall of some types of bacteria, viruses, etc, and completely killing them. That’s because it has a longer period of surface contact with the germs, destroying the outer barrier or cell wall of the microorganism, then getting inside to fully denature (dehydrate) the proteins within the cell, which kills the germs entirely. Any isopropyl alcohol solution of 90% or under can sufficiently do this. It’s not advised to use anything under 70%, though, due to the lower alcohol content, which may not be as effective at sanitizing things.
  • Due to the fact that isopropyl alcohol of 91% or higher evaporates so rapidly, when the alcohol touches some types of germs, it will instantly coagulate the cell as a whole, “freezing” it and putting it into a sort of dormant state, but it may or will not break through the cell wall and kill the proteins inside microorganism or “germ” cell.

In makeup school, and from many other professionals, I had always learned that using 95% to 99% isopropyl alcohol was completely acceptable for any product. Now that may be the case, or it may not. I have not read or done any type of in depth study to compare various types of products and what kind of germs or how many germs they commonly have on them, or what kind of alcohol kills those germs, on that product, most effectively.

According to some people that I’ve spoken to in the medical field, they agree with what I learned from many people in the makeup industry… that 91% and up should be fine for products that are not typically susceptible to harboring lots of germs and are hydro-sensitive (aka can be damaged by water), such as powder products. They also agree that the practice of wiping down a powder’s surface, spraying with alcohol, and wiping the surface down again seems sufficient. However, no one I’ve spoken to in the medical field has agreed that any isopropyl alcohol solution OVER 90% would be okay to use on products such as lipsticks or pencils. The only problem with that is that allowing alcohol to sit on a creamy lipstick for a longer period of time can destroy the product, so it may be best to stick to lipstick palettes that are easier to use in a sanitary way.

After finding all of this information, I will certainly be carrying more than one type of isopropyl alcohol in my kit, and using the appropriate solution for each product. As I stated earlier, I’m not a medical professional or an authority in disinfection and sanitization, and all of these things are based on my own experience and practices, so this is in no way a gold standard in sanitary makeup application practices, but I think it’s a pretty decent guide to start off with and I hope it will help some of you out!

 

Now let’s go over different types and formulas of products and their likelihood to be little cesspools of germs:

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): Not a very germ-friendly environment unless they are exposed to liquid (like dipping a dampened brush in an eyeshadow to apply it as liner). Pressed powders are dry, therefore they will not provide a moist environment in which germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) are likely to grow and thrive.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): Also not very germ-friendly because, like pressed powders, they do not provide the moisture needed for bacteria, viruses, and fungi to live and grow.
  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contours, bronzers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, skincare, etc): These products are a great place for germs to thrive due to the moisture in them and the fact that many products like this are used around the eyes and mouth. That said, no makeup artist should EVER allow these products to be exposed to the open air and environment around them UNLESS they have the container opened to safely collect product for application.
  • Pencils (solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): Very germ-friendly, since most of these products are not 100% dry formulas and are used around areas of the face such as the eyes and mouth.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): Also highly germ-friendly, and should NEVER be applied directly to a client’s face.
  • Tools (palettes, makeup spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, lash applicators, scissors, pencil sharpeners, eyelash curlers, etc): Germs can certainly live on these surfaces and tools, but because most of these are made from stainless steel, germs are easy to kill if these items are properly disinfected and sanitized. Spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, scissors, and eyelash curlers MUST be cleaned and disinfected between EACH client and after you are done with the makeup application. Sharpeners should ideally be sanitized before each sharpening. You should NEVER dip any of these tools into a product unless the tool has been properly sanitized first, or you will introduce all kinds of nasty things into that product, which you may not be able to completely sanitize after it’s been contaminated.
  • Brushes: Brushes can be porous since they are made of fibers, and can harbor all kinds of germs if they are not properly sanitized after and between each client, or if product is left on them after a makeup application. Luckily, they’re very easy to clean!
  • Lashes: Lashes cannot be sanitized and reused.
  • Lash Glue: Lash glue would make a great breeding ground for germs, which is why you never touch it directly to the false lashes you are applying, even if they are brand new. You also must be careful not to double dip if you are applying the glue using a disposable applicator wand.

 

Next, let’s discuss how to properly sanitize these various types of products:

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): You will want to start off by gently wiping away the surface layer of the powder using a clean, sanitary tissue. With a great deal of powder products, this is considered sufficient sanitization by many industry standards. If you would like to go a little further with your sanitization (as I ALWAYS do), you will want to spray alcohol onto the powder and allow it to evaporate. After the alcohol evaporates, gently wipe the surface again with a tissue. Because some powder formulas can be easily altered and damaged by water (typically more softly pressed formulas such as highlighters and shimmery eyeshadows), and powders don’t tend to harbor as many germs as other product formulas do, I have been informed that it’s safe to use a higher percentage alcohol on them, like 90% to 99%. If you want to try an isopropyl alcohol solution that contains more water and evaporates less rapidly, 70% to 90% may work, but I cannot guarantee that it will not damage the product that you are spraying it on.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): Because these are a loose formula, it’s pretty much impossible to sanitize the loose powder itself. However, if you are using a loose powder product that is in a jar with a sifter, you may spray the sifter with alcohol, or wipe it down using a tissue dampened with alcohol. Because loose powders aren’t highly likely to harbor a great deal of bacteria and other germs, and are even more susceptible to being damaged by water than pressed powders are, I would recommend using a higher percentage of alcohol like 90% to 99% to disinfect the sifter and jar if there’s a chance of it coming in contact with the loose powder itself. If there’s no chance of it damaging the powder and making it a goopy mess, I feel like using an isopropyl alcohol solution of 70% to 90% would be fine. To keep your loose powders from being exposed to any germs at all, you can keep them in little squirt bottles, which I’ll include a photo of below. You can find these bottles at places like The Container Store, most art supply or beauty supply stores, or online from places like amazon. If you feel the need to sanitize the lids/dispenser tops of these jars, you can use 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol to wipe it down as long as it can’t get into the jar and compromise the loose powder.

518jaoucCOL._SL1278_

  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contour sticks, bronzers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, skincare, mascara, etc): These can be tricky products to sanitize. Liquids are impossible to sanitize, although you can clean the pump or bottle they are contained in by using 70% to 90% isopropyl alcohol as long as it cannot get into the container itself and ruin the liquid product inside. Gels are probably the second most difficult to sanitize, followed by creams, and can easily be ruined and turned to sludge if you get too much alcohol in or on them, or use an alcohol solution that is more than about 90% isopropyl alcohol, due to the time it takes to evaporate when using a solution with a lower percentage of alcohol/higher percentage of water. Cream and gel products should never even be touched by anything that is not completely sanitary to begin with, though, and should NEVER have a finger or brush dipped directly into the container (unless it’s your own personal product), so while they are a great place for germs to grow, germs shouldn’t even be introduced into these products if you are following basic sanitary procedures. When I sanitize my gel eyeliners, cream concealers, lipstick palettes, or similar products, I do it in a way similar to how I clean up pressed powders… I use a tissue or paper towel (sometimes paper towels hold up a little better and scrape more product off that a softer tissue does) to gently wipe off the top layer of the product, spray it with 95%+ isopropyl alcohol, then use a new tissue or paper towel to wipe the top layer of the product again. In the case of sanitizing lipsticks, it’s best to use a lower percentage isopropyl alcohol solution, such as 70% to 90%, assuming that will not ruin your product. To sanitize, you will want to hold the lipstick upside down (lipstick bullet pointing towards the ground so no alcohol gets into the tube and breaks down the product), and dip the lipstick into alcohol or thoroughly spray it. After you dip or spray your lipstick, you will then want to gently wipe the surface of the product with a clean tissue or paper towel.
  • Pencils (hard, solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): Because these products are typically used around moist areas of the face that are most likely to contain and spread bacteria, it’s absolutely vital that you thoroughly sanitize your pencils after you use them on a client and again before you use them on the next client, even if they’ve only been sitting in your kit, untouched in between makeup appointments. You’ll want to begin by sharpening them and removing the outer layer of product, using a clean, freshly sanitized sharpener (see below for how to sanitize your tools). After your pencil is sharpened, you will want to dip it in or spray it with alcohol, letting it evaporate for about 10 seconds before the next step… Depending on the formula of the pencil and whether it’s more soft and gel-like or harder and more solid, you may be able to use an isopropyl alcohol solution with an alcohol percentage as low as 70% to 90%, which would be ideal. However, if your product basically melts using that percentage of alcohol, you can dip it in or spray it with 91% to 99% alcohol, with the lower percentage of alcohol being preferable. After it’s sprayed or dipped and the alcohol is allowed to evaporate a bit, you may wipe it down with a clean, sanitary tissue. Once it’s been wiped dry, I recommend sharpening it again AFTER you spray your sharpened with alcohol and letting it dry as well. I know it seems like a lot of steps to take, but considering the areas of the face where you are using a pencil product and the fact that you will usually be applying a pencil directly to your client’s face, it’s incredibly important to make sure that the pencil is sanitary or you may risk spreading an infection to your client, which is serious stuff! Also, DO NOT put the cap back on the pencil in between ANY of these sanitizing steps or you will have to start from scratch! It is, however perfectly fine to lay the pencil on a clean tissue to repeatedly use on the client during the same makeup application, as long as it doesn’t touch any other surface.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): In my opinion, there isn’t really any way to effectively sanitize these so you can directly apply them to a client using the applicator wand or felt/brush tip that’s part of the liquid liner’s component. However, you CAN, and should, sanitize them in between clients, even if you are only dispensing product by touching the applicator wand or felt/brush tip to a clean, sanitized palette or fresh, disposable paper palette. You should also sanitize your liquid liners that you use on yourself from time to time! To do so, you can spray the applicator wand or felt/brush tip with alcohol, then wipe it down with a clean tissue or paper towel. Since the wand or felt/brush tip is not being touched directly to anyone’s skin or to an unsanitary surface, I feel like it’s safe to use a higher percentage of isopropyl alcohol and I prefer 95%+. I also feel like this is the best type of alcohol solution to use on these products because, especially with the felt/brush tip pens, the product can be ruined if the alcohol sits on the pen too long and does not rapidly evaporate.
  • Tools (palettes, makeup spatulas, palette knives, tweezers, lash applicators, scissors, pencil sharpeners, eyelash curlers, etc): All of these tools must be sanitized before use, in between clients, and after you are done with your makeup application before storing them back in your kit. These type of tools should be made from stainless steel, which is not a germ-friendly surface and is easily sanitized. To clean and sanitize any of the tools mentioned, you can thoroughly spray them down with alcohol (I would recommend 70% to 90%), or even soak them if there are not any parts that will be damaged by the alcohol, such as plastic handle on scissors or eyelash curlers, or the rubber inserts that most eyelash curlers have. After you spray or soak your tools, wipe them down with a clean tissue or paper towel to make sure they are completely dry before using them on a client, especially if the tool is to be used around the eyes, since alcohol can cause serious irritation and damage to the eye.
  • Brushes: Brushes are very easy to clean and sanitize, and are the most important tools you have as a makeup artist, so it’s vital to take good care of them! You will want to start out with clean brushes, and you must sanitize them in between clients if you are using the same brushes for multiple makeup applications that day. To spot clean/sanitize, you can spray your brushes with, or dip them into an antimicrobial brush cleaner, like the one made by Cinema Secrets (my personal preference). There are a ton of great, quick drying brush cleaners out there, but make sure that it’s one labeled as antimicrobial or that it is formulated to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. After you spray or dip your brush, wipe it with a clean paper towel until there is no product left on the brush or coming off on the paper towel. You may repeat these steps several times, if necessary. After you are done with your makeup appointment, I recommend putting your dirty brushes into their own bag or container so they don’t contaminate anything else in your kit. Once you are home or back in your studio, it’s time to thoroughly wash your brushes with soap (I like Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap) and water, or a mixture of soap, water, and your antimicrobial brush cleanser that you also use to spot clean. Make sure you always hold your brushes with the fibrous brush end pointed downward when they’re wet so water doesn’t creep up into the ferule, ruining the brush and eating up the adhesive that keeps the fibers in there! Once you’ve cleaned the product out of the brush, rinse well, pat or gently squeeze dry with a paper towel, and lay flat to dry on a clean paper towel.
  • Lashes: As I mentioned earlier, lashes cannot be sanitized and reused on clients. You can sanitize your own lashes at home by taking some alcohol (I would suggest 90% isopropyl alcohol so it evaporates quickly but will still clean off the old glue, as well as any germs) on a cotton swab and cleaning up the lash band and lash fibers themselves, assuming they aren’t made of something that will melt if alcohol touches it. I’m not sure what types of lashes can be damaged by alcohol because I always just use new ones when mine start to seem gross or dirty, but if I find out, I’ll add that info!
  • Lash Glue: The outer part of a lash glue tube and wand can be sanitized by spraying or wiping it down with alcohol, being careful as to not get any alcohol inside the tube where it can damage the glue itself. I would suggest using 70% to 90% alcohol for this.

 

Lastly, let’s talk about the types and formulas of products that are being applied to a client and how to apply them in a sanitary, safe way:

First things first, though… ALWAYS make sure that your makeup station is set up on clean, sanitary, disposable paper pads or palettes, or paper towels, so that any product or tool you use can safely be set back down and you won’t have to worry about it touching a dirty table or countertop. Also, please remember to use hand sanitizer before your makeup application begins, before you pick up a brush or tool, and before touch your products or your client’s face. If you have taken a break and touched anything else (like your hair, your own face, a phone… eww, grabbed your coffee cup, whatever), sanitize your hands before touching your tools, products, or your clients face again.

  • Pressed Powders (blush, eyeshadow, powder, highlight, bronzer, etc): It is fine to apply sanitized powder products by dipping your brush into the product and applying it directly to the client’s face. It is also safe to dip your brush back into the product, then apply more to the client’s face. However, you MUST disinfect the pressed powder after you are finished with your client AND before using it on the next client.
  • Loose Powders (setting powder, highlighter, pigments, etc): These should be dispensed onto a clean, sanitized palette, paper palette, or a clean tissue or paper towel. You may then dip your brush or applicator into the powder and apply to your client. Never dip your brush directly into a loose powder product jar or container, apply to a client’s face, then dip back into the container. If that happens, it is impossible to effectively sanitize the remaining loose powder within the container.
  • Gels, Creams, and Liquids (gel liners, blushes or shadows; cream shadows, primers, foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, contour sticks, bronzers, face primers, any and all bullet-style lipsticks; liquid foundations, concealers, lipsticks, lip glosses, skincare, mascara, etc): As I stated earlier in this post, no makeup artist should EVER allow these products to be exposed to the open air and environment UNLESS they have the container opened to collect product for application. You must NEVER put your finger, brush, or any other unsanitary instrument into a gel, cream or liquid product. The ONLY acceptable and sanitary way to dispense cream, gel and liquid products for use on clients is by using a palette knife, or spatula that has been properly sanitized prior to collecting the product, or a clean, unused, disposable applicator, scoop, or spatula. After collecting the product, it is safest and easiest to put the product onto a clean, sanitized palette or a fresh disposable paper palette. You may then dip your brush or preferred applicator into the product that has been placed on the palette and apply it to the client’s face. You may also use a disposable applicator wand, such as a lip or mascara wand, to collect the lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, etc. In this case, you must apply the product from the disposable applicator directly to the client’s face, then DISPOSE OF THE USED WAND. If you need more product, collect more with a new, clean wand and dispose of it immediately after application. If you are dealing with any gel, cream, or liquid that pours or pumps out of the container, dispense directly onto a sanitized palette or disposable paper palette, and dip your brush into the product on the palette for application. NEVER drip a gel, cream, or liquid product onto a client’s face (like you see on Instagram and YouTube). If the dropper touches the skin, it will contaminate the whole product once it’s placed back into the bottle or container. Furthermore, if you ever double-dip into any gel, cream, or liquid product, you should throw it out. They are impossible to completely sanitize if this should happen, and it’s no longer considered safe to use on the next client.
  • Pencils (solid or gel-like eye, brow, and lip pencils): These must NEVER be applied without being properly sanitized first. You may scrape some of the pencil onto a palette, if you prefer to apply it with a brush or wand, but it still must first be sanitized the same way as if you were going to apply it directly to your client. Also, as stated earlier, if you put the cap back onto the pencil during the makeup application, you must sanitize the pencil again before applying it to your client or scraping it onto a palette.
  • Liquid Liners (felt or brush tip pens or liquid products with an applicator wand): These must NEVER be directly applied to the client! Liquid liners may be applied by dipping a new, sanitary applicator wand into the product and dispensing the product onto a clean, sanitized palette or a disposable paper palette. You may then collect the product from the palette, onto your preferred brush or applicator wand, and apply it to the client’s face. After the product is placed onto your clean palette, you may double dip into that small amount of product. If these type of products are contaminated by applying directly to a client or double dipping, you should dispose of the product and not use it on a future client.
  • Lashes: A fresh, clean pair of lashes should be applied to each client, and preferably for each new makeup application. To get the lashes in place and pressed closely to your client’s lash line, use a clean, sanitized lash applicator tool or tweezers (never sharp ones), or your clean, sanitized little fingers but ONLY if you have your client’s approval to do so.
  • Lash Glue: Never use the lash glue’s own brush applicator to apply the glue to a pair of lashes, or hold the tip of the squeeze tube up to a lash band. It’s best to squeeze the glue onto your clean palette or disposable paper palette, or dip an applicator wand into the tube of lash glue, then using the wand,  apply the glue to the the lash band. Remember not to double dip the applicator wand and always get a fresh one each time if you are dipping directly into the tube of lash glue. It’s fine to use the same disposable wand if you are picking up the glue from your palette.

 

I realize that was incredibly long and detailed, but if you read through the whole guide, I appreciate you spending your time here and I hope that helped you out in some way! If you have any input on this subject, please feel free to comment below! I welcome an open discussion, but since this is a sensitive time for many people when it comes to the topic of germs and such, I must ask you to refrain from sharing false information that cannot be backed up, or spreading panic and paranoia. If I feel that a comment is misinforming or contributing to unnecessary levels of paranoia or anxiety, the comment will be subject to moderation. Thank you all for stopping by and thanks in advance for any additional input you may have on this subject!

Swatchmas Day 24: Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Nude Medium Eyeshadow Palette

On the twenty-fourth and LAST day of Swatchmas, I give you Huda Beauty’s Nude Obsessions Nude Medium Eyeshadow Palette! There are three palettes in the Nude Obsessions line, and I already posted the Nude Light and Nude Rich palettes earlier during Swatchmas, so you can click on those links to check them out. These are great because they have the usual Huda Beauty eyeshadow quality, but it’s a small palette that’s perfect for travel and all of the shadows in here work together, so it takes the guesswork out of creating a look if you’re in a hurry or just not feeling creative that day. It’s also nice how these are all usable by every skintone, but Huda Beauty has become more inclusive lately and really put together some beautiful nude palettes for different skintones!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The Nude Obsessions palettes are a good value at $29 and contains 9.9 g / 0.35 oz of product. You can purchase this palette directly from the Huda Beauty website, or from Sephora stores, Sephora in JCPenney, or the Sephora website. Huda Beauty is a cruelty-free brand.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Eyeshadows swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

 

This product was purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

Swatchmas Day 23: My Top 5 Liquid Set Lipsticks from Melt Cosmetics

On the twenty-third day of Swatchmas, I give you my five favorite Liquid Set Lipsticks from Melt Cosmetics! I know I’ve said it a million times before, but I LOVE Melt and LOVE their liquid lipstick formula! It’s very liquidy, but not runny, and it’s extremely pigmented so a little bit goes a long way. Once it’s set, it’s a beautiful matte finish and wears well all day, as long as you stay away from eating oily or greasy foods (but that’s how any liquid lip is).

SONY DSC

Melt’s Liquid Set Lipsticks each contain, on average, 3.36 ml / .11 oz of product and sell for $19 each from the Melt Cosmetics website. They do have sales from time to time, though, so if you sign up for their emails and you’ll know when you can get these at a discounted price! Melt Cosmetics is a cruelty-free brand and ALL of these liquid lipsticks are vegan!

The Liquid Set Lipsticks featured in this post are:

  • Rebound: Sensual tuscan red (aka literally the perfect rosy lip) 3.12 ml / .10 oz
  • Roc: Deep warm rose (also another perfect rosy lip) 3.75 ml / .13 oz
  • Death Cherry: True deep cherry red (flattering red on EVERYONE) 3.66 ml / .12 oz
  • Velvet Room: Deep black cherry (perfect dark lip on all skintones) 3.17 ml / .107 oz
  • Bellastona: Candy apple red (bright, pinky red great for summer) 3.12 ml / .10 oz

SONY DSC

 

These products were purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

Swatchmas Day 22: Melt Cosmetics Twenty-Seven Eyeshadow Palette

On the twenty-second day of Swatchmas, I give you the Twenty-Seven Eyeshadow Palette from Melt Cosmetics! This has been one of my favorite palettes since the day it launched, and it works for a variety of looks, as well as for a variety of skin tones. There is a good balance of highly pigmented, buttery mattes and smooth-as-silk shimmer/metallic shadows in this palette so I feel like it’s really usable for both daytime looks or for a more dramatic night out.

SONY DSC

The Melt Twenty-Seven palette contains ten eyeshadows and a grand total of 20.70 g / 0.73 oz of product. It sells for $58 from both the Melt Website as well as from Sephora, where I believe it’s mostly available online but may also be stocked in some Sephora freestanding stores in larger cities. Melt is a cruelty-free brand and the Twenty-Seven palette is vegan.

The ten eyeshadows featured in this palette are:

  • Naked Sleep:   Matte hot apricot-nude
  • Downtown:   Matte baked clay hue
  • Nip Slip:   Matte provocative peach
  • Moxie:   Matte burnt orange
  • Crimefighter:   Metallic dimensional copper
  • 1 More Thing:   Matte warm taupe
  • Thick:   Matte rosy mauve
  • Vegas Past:   Bronze with green and rose gold reflects
  • Whiskey Neat:   Matte barrel-aged brown
  • Moonchild:   Matte deep maroon

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Eyeshadows swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

 

This product was purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

Swatchmas Day 21: My Top 5 Dark Lipsticks

On the twenty-first day of Swatchmas, I give you my current five favorite dark lipsticks! These vary from more “wearable” dark hues, to the more dramatic type, and I’ve included matte and satin finishes, as well as liquid and bullet-style lipstick formulas in this list.

SONY DSC

1) Melt Cosmetics Ultra Matte Lipstick in 6SIX6:

This bullet style, deep blood red lipstick is highly pigmented, very matte and long wearing, but still easy to apply and non-drying on the lips. This has been my absolute favorite lipstick from Melt since day one and I cannot imagine my life without it! It contains 3.20 g / 0.11 oz of product and sells for $19 from the Melt website or Sephora’s website. Melt is a cruelty-free brand and 6SIX6 is vegan.

2) TIME Los Angeles Luxe Matte Liquid Lipstick in Corruption:

Corruption is a deep oxblood plum shade that’s very vampy and intense, but still stunning, even with minimal makeup. TIME’s liquid lipstick formula is creamy, but not too thick, easy to apply, well pigmented, and dries down to a long wearing matte finish (just stay away from oily, greasy foods or it will fade more quickly). Luxe Matte Liquid Lipsticks sell for $16 individually and contain 6.3 g / 0.22 oz of product. You can also get Corruption in TIME’s Nude Spectrum Bundle, which contains five other liquid lipsticks and sells for the discounted price of $60 ($10 per Luxe Matte Liquid Lipstick). Corruption, as well as other TIME Los Angeles products, can be purchased on their website at www.shoptimela.com, and TIME is a cruelty-free brand.

3) MAC Diva Lipstick:

Diva is one of MAC’s top selling darker lipsticks, and has always been a staple in my personal makeup stash as well as my kit. This is your typical, creamy, bullet style lipstick and it is an intense reddish-burgundy with a matte formula and finish. This lipstick contains 3 g / 0.1 oz of product and sells for $18.50 from MAC counters (including the ones inside Ulta stores), MAC freestanding stores, online from MAC’s website, or online from most stores that sell MAC products, including Ulta.

4) Melt Cosmetics Liquid Set Lipstick in Velvet Room:

Velvet Room is a beautiful, deep black cherry shade. Melt’s Liquid Set Lipstick formula is super pigmented, thin and fluid-like so it applies easily and evenly, and is long wearing and matte. This lippie contains 3.17 ml / .107 oz of product and sells for $19 on the Melt website. Melt Cosmetics is a cruelty-free brand and Velvet Room is vegan.

5) Dose of Colors Lip It Up Satin Lipstick in Lava Cake

Lava Cake is the lightest, most day-to-day type of dark lip in this post. It’s a plum red brown with a satin finish, so it’s very creamy and comfortable on the lips, especially during the drier, winter months. Dose of Colors Lip It Up Satin Lipsticks contain 3.12 g / 0.11 oz of product and sell for $17 from both the Dose of Colors website and Ulta website. Dose of Colors products are also available in some Ulta stores, but be sure to check your local store’s availability online before you head over there! Dose of Colors is a cruelty-free brand and this lipstick is vegan.

SONY DSC
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Lipsticks swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

 

These products were purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

Swatchmas Day 20: Natasha Denona Mini Gold Eyeshadow Palette

On the twentieth day of Swatchmas, I give you the Mini Gold palette from Natasha Denona! This palette may be small, but it’s absolutely stunning and the colors are flattering for every eye color. It’s super easy to create looks with and the shadows are just as high quality as the ones you find in Natasha Denona’s full size eyeshadow palettes.

SONY DSC

The Mini Gold palette features five shadows, each weighing in a 0.8 g / 0.028 oz, for a total of 4 g / 0.14 oz of product. It sells for $25 from both the Natasha Denona website and Sephora website. Natasha Denona is a cruelty-free brand.

The eye shadows featured in this palette are:

  • Lodge 283CP:   Light transition shade
  • Dark Sepia 47P:   Dark sparkly shade (already existing shade)
  • D’or 284M:   Gold foiled shade
  • Bia 285CP:   Green transition shade
  • Antheia 286DC:   Golden green sparkly shade

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
Photo taken outdoors in natural, direct sunlight. Eyeshadows swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

 

This product was purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

 

 

Swatchmas Day 19: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paints

On the nineteenth day of Swatchmas, I give you all nine Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Colors from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna! These are absolutely phenomenal liquid lipsticks, having insane amounts of pigment and a very liquidy, thin (in a good way) formula that’s easy to apply, dries down quite matte, and is comfortable to wear all day long. One of these colors (Underdawg) was a mini that was limited for the holidays this year, but I’m hoping it makes a comeback because it’s one of my favorites!

SONY DSC
Left to Right: Uninvited (limited first launch packaging pictured), Undefeated, Unlocked, Unattached, Uncensored, Underdawg, Uncuffed, Unbutton, and Unveil

Fenty’s Stunna Liquid Lip Paints each contain 4 ml / 0.13 oz of product and sell for $24, except for Underdawg, which contains 2 ml / 0.07 oz of product and sells (or sold) for $15. Unfortunately, it looks like Underdawg is currently sold out online from both Fenty and Sephora. Also, Uninvited seems to be for sale on the Fenty website, but not on Sephora’s website. However, all seven colors except for Uninvited are in stock on www.sephora.com and all eight permanent colors are in stock on www.fentybeauty.com. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna is a cruelty-free brand.

The Stunna Lip Paints featured in this post are:

  • Uninvited:   Smooth black
  • Undefeated:   Sultry purple
  • Unlocked:   Vivid pink
  • Unattached:   Bright coral
  • Uncensored:   Perfect universal red
  • Underdawg:   Deep burgundy
  • Uncuffed:   Rosy mauve
  • Unbutton:   Peachy nude
  • Unveil:   Chocolate brown

SONY DSC
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Liquid lipsticks swatched on MAC NC15 skin.

 

These products were purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.

Swatchmas Day 18: Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Nude Rich Eyeshadow Palette

On the eighteenth day of Swatchmas, I give you the Huda Beauty Nude Obsessions Nude Rich Palette! Like the Nude Light palette I posted last week, this palette really gives you everything you need to create natural, daytime looks, or something much more dramatic. Also like the other Huda Beauty Obsessions palettes, it takes all of the guesswork out as far as what colors and finishes to use together, which I love, especially when I’m in a hurry. While each one of these, (Light, Medium, and Rich), are targeted for various skin tones, of course anyone can wear whichever one they want, but I do think it’s nice that they took into consideration that “nude” is going to be different for everyone.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The Nude Obsessions palettes are a good value at $29 and contains 9.9 g / 0.35 oz of product. You can purchase this palette directly from the Huda Beauty website, or from Sephora stores, Sephora in JCPenney, or the Sephora website. Huda Beauty is a cruelty-free brand.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

This product was purchased with my own money. I did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this post.